Canada - Better Home Care in Canada. A National Action Plan This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Jointly created by the Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA), the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), this action plan for home care in Canada sets out recommendations, measurable indicators, and policy considerations for federal, provincial, and territorial levels of government. It shows how home care can be made more accessible, how better health outcomes can be achieved through home care, and how the experience of individuals receiving care and support can be improved.

Canada - Ontario Establishing Patient and Family Advisory Council This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Ontario is creating a Patient and Family Advisory Council to advise the province on health policy priorities impacting patient care. The council will involve patients, families and caregivers throughout the policy development process. Council members will be chosen by a public process to nominate suitable candidates taking place in 2017.

Europe - WHO report shows urban green spaces deliver multiple health benefits This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Urban green spaces reduce morbidity and mortality in city residents by providing relaxation, supporting physical activity, and reducing exposure to air pollutants, noise, and excessive heat. This WHO report summarizes evidence of health benefits, discusses pathways to health, and evaluates health-relevant indicators of urban green space. An example of a green space accessibility indicator and methodological tool kit is provided.

Finland - The reform of 24-hour services creates regional units and reinforces collaboration between healthcare and 24-hour social services This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Finland’s government is reforming its system of 24-hour services in health care and social welfare to create larger units for the provision of specialized medical care and social services. This will reinforce departmental collaboration and centralize some examinations, procedures, treatments and programs at national and regional levels. The reforms will be implemented gradually between now and 2019.

UK - Getting patients quicker access to innovative healthcare This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The UK government’s Accelerated Access Review has been published, laying out plans to make the National Health Service (NHS) a leader in innovation and ensure patients quicker access to cutting-edge health care. This report says that streamlining processes could, in one example, accelerate patient access to new drugs by up to four years.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Taking the Pulse of Primary Health Care Reform: Promise, Potential, and (Real) Progress
The Centre for Health Services and Policy Research is holding its annual conference on March 10, 2017, in Vancouver. In the context of efforts at primary care reform in many provinces and little information about results, this conference creates a space for dialogue. Central questions include: What information is required to improve primary and integrated health care that will address social needs and determinants of health? and What is needed to scale up innovations in primary health care across the country?

USA - 2017 AcademyHealth National Health Policy Conference
This conference provides an extensive outlook on the health policy agenda of the US for the year ahead. This year's theme, A First Look at the Evidence, Politics and Priorities Shaping Health Policy in 2017, anticipates changes in the administration and Congress. It takes place January 30 and 31, 2017, in Washington, DC.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Triple Aim in Canada: developing capacity to lead to better health, care and cost This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Many health systems strive for Triple Aim — better population health, improved patient care, and lower costs. This paper describes the participation of nine Canadian teams in an international Triple Aim improvement community offering support for design, implementation, assessment and sustainability through a program of webinars and activities. An evaluation of the Canadian cohort examines their progress in building Triple Aim infrastructure across healthcare settings.

Canada - Getting the Foundations Right: Alberta's Approach to Healthcare Reform This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2008, Alberta abolished its health regions and integrated providers into the new Alberta Health Services (AHS). This article responds to past critiques of the reforms by describing long-term benefits that include lower administrative costs, greater equity of access, improved intra-provincial learning, and economies of scale. Some benefits have already appeared, but performance should be judged over a multi-year time frame.

Canada - Circle of care modelling: an approach to assist in reasoning about healthcare change using a patient-centric system This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Circle of care modelling (CCM) is a patient-centric approach to analyzing health system change that uses four steps (finding out, conceptualizing, discussion, and establishing improvements). This paper presents three case studies where CCM was applied to help stakeholders’ think about care gaps around data fragmentation, coordinated medication management, and support for a community health centre for unattached patients.

Europe - Joint Report on Health Care and Long-Term Care Systems & Fiscal Sustainability This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Prepared by the European Union (EU) Directorate for Economic and Financial Affairs, this report investigates policy challenges for the healthcare and long-term care sectors within the 28 member countries of the EU. It examines options on how to contain spending pressures through efficiency gains to ensure fiscally sustainable access to quality services.

The Netherlands - Patient experiences with family medicine: a longitudinal study after the Dutch health care reforms in 2006 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2006, Dutch healthcare changed to a market-oriented system in which general practitioners (GPs) are paid partly by capitation, and partly by fees for consultations and services. Using annual patient surveys from 2007-2012, this study looked at 78,985 patient assessments of the performance of 2,966 GPs in the years following the reforms. By 2012, patients with positive experiences had increased significantly.

UK - Efficiency opportunities through health and social care integration: delivering more sustainable health and care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Local Government Association (LGA) released this report, which calls for a revamped health and care system based on local priorities that can achieve better outcomes with less money. It describes improvements that can be made by providing locally integrated health and social care and accentuating preventive services. It projects efficiency savings of 7-10% as a result of service consolidation and care integration.

UK - Recovering the cost of NHS treatment for overseas visitors This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report details work done by the Department of Health to help the National Health Service (NHS) increase the amount charged and recovered for treating overseas visitors. The British government hopes to recover up to £500 million for treating overseas visitors by 2018. A new immigration health surcharge for students and migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) generated £164 million in 2015.

International - How OECD health systems define the range of good and services to be financed collectively This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Universal health coverage has been achieved in nearly all the 35 countries of the OECD. This paper describes how countries delineate the range of benefits covered, including the role of health technology assessment and criteria informing the decision-making process. The paper also looks at the boundaries of healthcare coverage and services for which coverage varies widely.